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Contented Dementia: A Revolutionary New Way of Treating Dementia : 24-hour Wraparound Care for Lifelong Well-being [Paperback]

Oliver James
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (248 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
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Book Description

6 Aug 2009

Dementia is a little understood and currently incurable illness, but much can be done to maximise the quality of life for people with the condition. Contented Dementia - by clinical psychologist and bestselling author Oliver James - outlines a groundbreaking and practical method for managing dementia that will allow both sufferer and carer to maintain the highest possible quality of life, throughout every stage of the illness.

A person with dementia will experience random and increasingly frequent memory blanks relating to recent events. Feelings, however, remain intact, as do memories of past events and both can be used in a special way to substitute for more recent information that has been lost. The SPECAL method (Specialized Early Care for Alzheimer's) outlined in this book works by creating links between past memories and the routine activities of daily life in the present.

Drawing on real-life examples and user-friendly tried-and-tested methods, Contented Dementia provides essential information and guidance for carers, relatives and professionals.

Frequently Bought Together

Contented Dementia: A Revolutionary New Way of Treating Dementia : 24-hour Wraparound Care for Lifelong Well-being + Dementia Essentials: How to Guide a Loved One Through Alzheimer's or Dementia and Provide the Best Care + Keeping Mum: Caring for Someone with Dementia
Price For All Three: 21.95

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vermilion; Reprint edition (6 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091901812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091901813
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (248 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"an indispensable handbook for anyone coping with the effects of dementia and who wants to keep a sufferer as happy as is humanly possible" (Daily Express)

"a revolutionary new way of treating dementia brings amazing benefits for patients and carers alike" (Guardian)

"I found myself weeping ... An important book" (Sarah Stacey YOU magazine)

"Explains a revolutionary way to care for dementia patients ... tender techniques that can ease absent minds" (Telegraph)

"I bought it and can confirm that anyone who wants help in caring for the condition will find this excellent work a revelation" (Bel Mooney Mail on Sunday)


'distinguished psychologist Oliver James [...] shows that dementia need not be a nightmare of frustration and embarrassment' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
112 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy for all carers 2 Jan 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have been battling with my mum for five years. Then I got this book, nothing prepared me for the gentle but very necessary slap around the face when I read it. Wow, I had spent so much time arguing and thinking that I had to keep my mum in my idea of reality when logically now I see I needed to enter her frame of logic in order to keep her calm, happy and oh so much more fun to be around!! if you only buy one book to help you work out your care plan, buy this one, dont hesitate, just buy it, I have asked everyone I know to read this book, its fab, next stop to go on the accompanying course. If you would like to talk about dementia, email me!! we can moan together xx
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88 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars can transform some situations 11 Aug 2009
By Toni
Practical, helpful, sensitive, comforting, illuminating, brilliant, constructive - yes, it is all that, and more. Don't take (too much) notice of the negative reviewers as you really shouldn't miss this book. Infused with compassion and kindness (RARE qualities these days), the advice was developed by someone who clearly has a talent for non-confrontation and small talk, both of which it is wise to learn early on in your loved one's journey of confusion. Whether it is called dementia, alzheimer, memory loss, forgetfulness doesn't matter to those of us who are in pain watching our loved one deteriorate and struggle with their new and unfamiliar circumstances, and who want to find ways to make it hurt less - for them as well as ourselves.

This refreshingly positive book immediately takes away a lot of the suffering, and the judgments, for both "sides", at least in the earlier stages. We cannot (yet) speak about later stages but we feel SO different about the situation after reading this book - we've now read a great deal about memory matters and can vouch for the fact that no "expert" in clinical practice has made anything like the kinds of loving and caring PRACTICAL suggestions and procedures spelled out in this book, which we started putting into practice immediately. So what if it seems like "infantilising" the sufferer, who in our experience certainly did not feel we were doing this but who immediately brightened up and was much happier with our new approach.

Unfortunately, there are some situations even this book cannot help us with - how do you deal with an elderly person who is very upset - every single evening - because mother (dead 50 years) is late for supper and who won't accept any of the excuses you dream up?
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, readable advice 14 May 2009
By Phoenix
The basic idea is that you should 'go with the flow' when dealing with dementia sufferers and not try to encourage or force them to behave more normally. Repeated questioning, for example, although tempting as a way to get the sufferer to exercise and test his or her memory, usually makes things worse. The book works well around this approach in a readable style and will be useful to anyone trying to cope with this problem.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
`Contented Dementia'. Never have two words been more important in our lives: just as my sister and I were getting desperate last summer (2009) about the relentless debilitating march of our mother's Alzheimer's, we heard of `Contented Dementia' by Oliver James. This book is the distillation of twenty years' work of a remarkable woman, Penny Garner, and all her experience of close, personal hands-on caring: first for her mother who fell victim to Alzheimer's, then for countless other Alzheimer's sufferers whom she has helped achieve contentment despite their deteriorating condition. Penny's no mind-altering-drugs method is deeply person-centered, and involves not questioning the person; letting them be the `expert' on their situation; and not contradicting them. The whole system is known as the SPECAL (Specialized Early Care for Alzheimer's) Method - pronounced `speckle' - , and is influenced by the monitoring tool Dementia Care Mapping developed by Tom Kitwood, professor of Psychogerontology at Bradford University in the 1990s. It's logical, workable and practical: an A-Z of "wraparound care" that both family carers and professionals can easily use.

Our mother Eileen was `disappearing' away from us with her Alzheimer's, and this amazingly helpful book has brought our mother `back' to us. We've rediscovered the real Eileen that her illness had started obscuring. With SPECAL care, our mum can be happy, contented, and very good company again - not the lonely frightened isolated paranoid old lady she had started to become.

This book showed us that our mother simply could no longer store new information efficiently. This was our key to unlock our mother from her growing isolation, from her frustrations, from her fears and her resultant panics and paranoia.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contented Dementia 17 Feb 2010
This book has helped me to understand what it is like from the demented person point of view, in my mother's case the total loss of a 'photograph' of the event or conversation in question. The solution seems to be an awful lot of note-taking to revive memories and loads of patience to survive the constant repetition of questions and statements but I am working on it. And every case is different but having a tool to use makes one feel more positive.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Interesting book
Published 11 days ago by Sharon Cinderey
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Information generally OK, but advice on how to manage and cope with dementia could be clearer
Published 16 days ago by KTS
5.0 out of 5 stars a read to understand what someone with dementia is suffering
In process of reading this - am on third chapter - recommend it for anyone who has close family going through this. Read more
Published 18 days ago by elmac
5.0 out of 5 stars a great book everyone should read whether they know someone who ...
Thank you, a great book everyone should read whether they know someone who has dementia or not, a system which really benefits the individual and from a carers perspective a happy... Read more
Published 20 days ago by Miss L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Contented buyer
Exellent copy and a well-used volume in our Library. Highly recommended
Published 21 days ago by Beverly Fletcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent advice
Published 26 days ago by Ms. Carol Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars Contented... Me and my mum in law
My mum in law was diagnosed 4 months or so ago. After many weeks of frustration, upset and not knowing what yo do for the best, I saw this book and in desperation bought it. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Suz
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Smashing Great
Super Smashing Great
Published 1 month ago by Rollypolly
5.0 out of 5 stars It is very helpful & easy to understand when you have no previous...
Arrived very quickly well wrapped. Bought copies for my self & other family members to help us understand & be more supportive towards a parent with memory problems. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amelias grandma
5.0 out of 5 stars A practical book that helps
I cannot recommend this book too highly.

I was the full time carer for my mother who had rheumatoid arthritis for 13 years. Read more
Published 1 month ago by C. F. Howat
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